Stephen Pater: Supporting “Real World” Library Projects

Stephen Pater loves old cars and old airplanes, so it comes as no surprise to learn that he earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Purdue University. He also loves libraries, recalling summer days spent participating in his local public library’s reading program.

Pater has united his areas of interest in the UCLA Library Student Technology Endowment, which he established through a bequest and a charitable remainder unitrust. His endowment will support the work of Library student employees who design, develop, and use technology, including apps that facilitate access to and use of Library collections.

“I was really impressed with the ‘real world’ work these students are getting to do at the Library,” Pater explained. “They’re creating tangible products they can include on their resumes, and they’re also helping people work with Library collections.”

Pater offered a personal example to illustrate the importance of practical experience for students. “When I was in college, I learned through my summer jobs that engineering was fun to learn, but not so fun to do,” he recalled. Instead, after graduation he signed up for VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), which brought him to Southern California for a time. 

Pater’s life later drew him again to Southern California. At about the same time he joined Rockwell International doing information systems planning, he pursued his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. His studies brought him back to the library – now called the Eugene and Maxine Rosenfeld Management Library – which he recalled as being very useful. 

Pater’s gift has created one more way for the UCLA Library to be useful. “I feel that it’s essential to support programs that enable students to gain practical experience,” Pater concludes. “I hope that my gift inspires other donors to make gifts to the Library, which is essential to student success.”